Crisis standards of care committee to meet this week as hospitals risk being overwhelmed

By Ruth Brown and Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports On Tuesday, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare officials said the state’s crisis standards of care advisory committee will meet later this week, signaling how close Idaho is to a public health crisis in which hospitals are overwhelmed and must ration health care.  Elke Shaw-Tulloch, administrator forContinue reading “Crisis standards of care committee to meet this week as hospitals risk being overwhelmed”

St. Luke’s hopes more employees choose to get vaccinated as hospital faces staffing crunch

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Idaho’s latest COVID-19 surge, which has prompted some hospitals to delay certain non-emergency procedures because of staffing shortages, comes as a September deadline approaches for employees of St. Luke’s, Saint Alphonsus, and Primary Health to get vaccinated or risk losing their jobs.  During a media call on Thursday, St. Luke’sContinue reading “St. Luke’s hopes more employees choose to get vaccinated as hospital faces staffing crunch”

Some Idaho hospitals delay non-emergency procedures as hospitalizations, ICU admissions rise

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports As COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions are climbing statewide, two of the state’s largest hospitals, St. Luke’s Health System in southern Idaho and Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene, have announced they are once again halting certain non-emergency procedures because of the recent increase in COVID-19 patients.  On Wednesday, theContinue reading “Some Idaho hospitals delay non-emergency procedures as hospitalizations, ICU admissions rise”

Positivity rates in coronavirus tests climb, ICU patients are younger

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports Boise Mayor Lauren McLean hosted health care administrators for a coronavirus briefing Wednesday to provide an update on the Delta coronavirus variant in Idaho.  The doctors stressed the importance of vaccinations and continuing to wear masks indoors as the Delta variant continues to rip through Idaho. Primary Health Medical GroupContinue reading “Positivity rates in coronavirus tests climb, ICU patients are younger”

Will healthcare workers who decline the vaccine be eligible for unemployment?

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports Protests continue in the lead-up to vaccination deadlines set by St. Luke’s, St. Alphonsus, and Primary Health, but if nothing changes between now and September, will employees who are fired for not getting the COVID-19 vaccine be eligible for unemployment benefits?  It depends, but it will likely be an uphillContinue reading “Will healthcare workers who decline the vaccine be eligible for unemployment?”

Hundreds gather to rally against health care worker vaccine mandates

by Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports Roughly 300 people gathered outside the Idaho capital on Thursday, protesting the mandatory vaccinations that some health care providers have implemented for employees. Saint Alphonsus Health System, St. Luke’s Health System, and Primary Health Group have announced that they will mandate employees receive the COVID-19 vaccination by Sept. 1 asContinue reading “Hundreds gather to rally against health care worker vaccine mandates”

Idaho National Guard wraps up coronavirus pandemic support missions

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports While the Idaho National Guard was recently activated to assist with emergency wildfires in the state, the Guard has spent the past eight months helping health care providers in the pandemic. The Idaho Office of Emergency Management reported that most of the Guard’s missions were “personnel support” where Guard membersContinue reading “Idaho National Guard wraps up coronavirus pandemic support missions”

COVID-positive behavioral health patients present new challenges for hospitals

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports As hospitals strain under the influx of COVID-19, they face new challenges in treating behavioral health patients, resulting in those patients being placed in facilities increasingly farther away. During a Thursday morning Eastern Idaho Public Health District Board of Health meeting, Chief Operations Officer David Hoffenberg of Eastern Idaho RegionalContinue reading “COVID-positive behavioral health patients present new challenges for hospitals”

As hospitals struggle, Gov. Little mobilizes Idaho National Guard

by Logan Finney, Idaho Reports Governor Brad Little announced Friday that he is rolling the state back to a modified version of Stage 2 and mobilizing 100 members of the Idaho National Guard to support the state’s struggling healthcare capacity. “We are in the middle of an unprecedented and dangerous time in our state’s history,”Continue reading “As hospitals struggle, Gov. Little mobilizes Idaho National Guard”

Kern: “Appalling” that rationing care is possibility

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports During Monday’s press conference at which Gov. Brad Little announced Idaho will roll back to Stage 3, Dr. Joshua Kern of St. Luke’s Magic Valley mentioned the possibility of rationing care if already overburdened hospitals continue to see an influx of patients. Is Idaho there yet? No. But it’s notContinue reading “Kern: “Appalling” that rationing care is possibility”